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Energies 2015, 8, 4476-4495; doi:10.

3390/en8054476
OPEN ACCESS

energies
ISSN 1996-1073
www.mdpi.com/journal/energies
Article

Multi-Objective Dynamic Economic Dispatch of Microgrid


Systems Including Vehicle-to-Grid
Haitao Liu 1, Yu Ji 1, Huaidong Zhuang 2 and Hongbin Wu 2,*

1
China Electric Power Research Institute, Haidian District, Beijing 100192, China;
E-Mails: lhtcn@epri.sgcc.com.cn (H.L.); jiyu@epri.sgcc.com.cn (Y.J.)
2
School of Electrical Engineering and Automation, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230009,
China; E-Mail: zhuanghuaiddong@163.com

* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: hfwuhongbin@163.com;


Tel.: +86-138-5601-3658; Fax: +86-551-6290-3929.

Academic Editor: Josep M. Guerrero

Received: 21 January 2015 / Accepted: 11 May 2015 / Published: 19 May 2015

Abstract: Based on the characteristics of electric vehicles (EVs), this paper establishes the
load models of EVs under the autonomous charging mode and the coordinated charging and
discharging mode. Integrating the EVs into a microgrid system which includes wind turbines
(WTs), photovoltaic arrays (PVs), diesel engines (DEs), fuel cells (FCs) and a storage battery
(BS), this paper establishes multi-objective economic dispatch models of a microgrid,
including the lowest operating cost, the least carbon dioxide emissions, and the lowest
pollutant treatment cost. After converting the multi-objective functions to a single objective
function by using the judgment matrix method, we analyze the dynamic economic dispatch
of the microgrid system including vehicle-to-grid (V2G) with an improved particle swarm
optimization algorithm under different operation control strategies. With the example
system, the proposed models and strategies are verified and analyzed. Simulation results
show that the microgrid system with EVs under the coordinated charging and discharging
mode has better operation economics than the autonomous charging mode. Meanwhile,
the greater the load fluctuation is, the higher the operating cost of the microgrid system is.

Keywords: microgrid; dynamic economic dispatch; electric vehicles; judgment matrix method;
particle swarm optimization; load fluctuation
Energies 2015, 8 4477

1. Introduction

In recent years, people have been paying more and more attention to developing renewable energy
resources due to the serious global energy shortage and environmental issues. With the development of
distribution technology, the microgrid concept [13] provides an effective way for the comprehensive
utilization of renewable energy and other distributed generation (DG).
Electric vehicles (EVs) have lower pollutant emissions and lower carbon dioxide emissions than
conventional vehicles. Although conventional vehicles are more competitive in terms of cost at present,
the cost of EVs will be gradually reduced with the development of vehicle storage battery technology
and rising fossil fuel prices, making EVs more and more competitive. A large number of EVs charging
in the power grid is bound to cause many challenging issues, not only increasing the burden of grid peak
load, but also affecting the system voltage and frequency [4,5]. With the proposed vehicle-to-grid (V2G)
concept [6], these problems might be alleviated. V2G technology allows bidirectional power flow
between the grid and the electric vehicles battery. EVs can thus not only purchase power from the power
grid but also feed power back to the grid as distributed energy resources through connection devices
while they are idle. Therefore, integrating EVs into the microgrid system, through charging and discharging
control strategies, one can achieve peak load shifting and improve the economics of the system [710].
Economic dispatch is a basic problem of microgrid system operation. Dynamic economic dispatch
takes the microgrid as a discrete time system, and is generally minute-level optimization. Normally, it is
solved by dividing the dispatch cycle into small time intervals of 1 minute or 5 minutes, and then a static
economic dispatch is employed to solve the problem in each interval [11]. This takes the coordination
of the adjacent scheduling periods into account. Therefore it is more in accordance with the actual
microgrid system operation. Since multi-objective dispatch was first introduced, there have been many
studies choosing objective functions, considering not only operating cost but also environmental benefit,
and the dispatch algorithm is multiple [1217]. There are the lowest fuel cost, minimum SO2 emissions,
minimum NOx emissions in [14], but in terms of pollution, SO2 and NOx can be a unified consideration.
Taking the reduction in greenhouse emissions into account, CO2 emissions should be considered as one
of the objective functions, but in [15], CO2 emissions was considered together with the pollutant
emissions. That is improper. NSGA-II is employed in [14] and [16], and the performance of the
algorithm is good. But NSGA-II can only be employed to solve a single period of scheduling, while
dynamic dispatch needs to coordinate adjacent periods, so it does not apply. The method in [17] also has
this problem.
Therefore, this paper establishes a microgrid system which includes wind turbines (WTs),
photovoltaic arrays (PVs), diesel engines (DEs), fuel cells (FCs), a storage battery (BS) and plug-in EVs.
On the basis of mathematical models of EVs, considering the operating cost, pollutant treatment cost
and carbon dioxide emissions as the dispatch objective functions of the microgrid system, this paper uses
the judgment matrix method to convert the multi-objective functions to a single objective function,
then uses an improved particle swarm algorithm (PSO) to simulate an example of the microgrid systems
economic dispatch, including V2G under different operation control strategies. We discuss the impact
of EVs under different charging and discharging modes on the results of dynamic economic dispatch,
and the impact of the load fluctuation. The simulation results verify the validity of the models
and strategies.
Energies 2015, 8 4478

2. The Load Models of Electric Vehicles

2.1. Spatial and Temporal Characteristics of EVs

In this paper, the modeling of EVs is intended primarily for household plug-in hybrid EVs. Spatial
characteristics take the owners driving habits into account, simply understood as the daily mileage
problem. Temporal characteristics are mainly on account of the end time of driving; assuming that
owners start charging after the end of travel, this time can be regarded as the charging start time.
According to statistics in [18], the daily mileage of EVs S approximately meets the lognormal
distribution, for which the probability density function is:

1 1 ln x s 2
fs x exp (1)
x s 2 2 s2

Also in [18], the end time of EVs driving t0 approximately meets a normal distribution, for which
the probability density function is:
1 x t 2
exp t 12 x 24
t 2 2 t2

ft x (2)
1 x 24 2
exp
t
0 x t 12
t 2 2 t2

where s 8.92 ; s 3.24 ; t 17.47 ; t 3.41 .


Each EV is charging and discharging under conventional slow mode. The daily mileage of EVs can
be obtained from Equation (1), while the end time of EVs driving, which is the charging start time,
can be obtained from Equation (2).

2.2. The Load Model under Autonomous Charging Mode

The autonomous charging mode of EVs is the case where owners start charging their EVs just
according to their own convenience, without relevant government policies, and this mainly concerns
EVs which cannot be involved in scheduling. The power flow is unidirectional from the power grid to
the EVs. The earliest possible time that the EVs can be recharged depends on the time when people
arrive home after the last trip of the day. The charging duration of each EV can be obtained from the
following equation:
SW100
TC (3)
100 PCC _ EV

where W100 is the power consumption per hundred kilometers in kWh/100 km; PC is charging power
of EVs in kW; C _ EV is the charging efficiency of EVs.
For each EV, the end time of charging Tend can be obtained from the charging start time Tstart and the
charging duration. Then by accumulating the charging power of each period, we can get the total
charging load PEVload(t). Because EVs charging periods are independent of each other, we can calculate
the daily load profile of a large number of EVs charging, which is as follows:
Energies 2015, 8 4479

N
PEVload (t ) Pi (t ) (4)
i 1

where N is the total number of EVs; Pi(t) is the charging power of the EV; i is the period t in kW;
CEV is the capacity of EV battery in kWh; PdisC is the discharging power of EVs in kW.

2.3. The Load Model under Coordinated Charging and Discharging Mode

The EV coordinated charging and discharging mode, which can also be described as V2G, is intended
to control EVs charging and discharging in an orderly and centralized way, considering guidance on
electricity pricing policy and owners behavior. This section focuses on grid-connected EVs which can
be scheduled. For the convenience of this study, it is assumed that these EVs can be completely scheduled.
During off-peak load periods, EVs are charging as load. During peak load periods which may involve
several hours around the load peak within 1 day, EVs are discharging as power sources.
From the EV battery state of charge (SOC) constraints, daily mileage and discharging power, we can
get the maximum discharging duration:
( SOCmax SOCmin )CEV SW100
Tmax_ disC (5)
PdisC 100 PdisC

The discharging start time Tstart_disC is determined by the end time of EV driving and the peak load
periods. The end time of discharging Tend_disC is determined by the maximum discharging duration and
dispatch cycle, the deadline for which is 24:00. Tend_disC minus Tstart_disC gets the actual discharging time
TdisC. During that time, the EVs are discharging. Then by accumulating the discharging power of each
period, we can get the total discharging power within the discharging periods.
The power demand of EV charging is equal to the total power consumption within one day,
including daily travel consumption and discharging capacity.
WEV PdisC Tmax_ disC PdisC TdisC (6)

Then we can get the charging duration:


WEV
TC (7)
PCC _ EV

Then, using Equation (4) to accumulate the charging power, we can get the total charging load of EVs.

2.4. The Computational Flowchart of the Daily Load of EVs

Figure 1 shows the computational flowchart of the daily load of EVs. The time is in hours.
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(a) (b)

Figure 1. (a) The computational flowchart of the daily load of EVs under autonomous
charging mode; (b) The computational flowchart of the daily load of EVs under coordinated
charging/discharging mode.

3. Multi-Objective Functions Modeling of Microgrid System

3.1. Multi-Objective Functions of the Microgrid System

The mathematical model of multi-objective optimization which has n-dimensional decision variables
can be described as follows:
min F { f1 ( x), f 2 ( x), , f k ( x)}

s.t. gi ( x) 0, i 1, 2, ,q (8)
h j ( x) 0, j 1, 2, ,p

where x ( x1 , x2 , , xn ) is n-dimensional decision variables; f k ( x) is the k-th objective function;


gi ( x) 0 is inequality constraints; and h j ( x) 0 is equality constraints.
In this paper, three objective functions of microgrid system economic dispatch are considered:
the lowest operating cost, the lowest pollutant treatment cost, and the least carbon dioxide emissions:
(1) Objective function 1: the lowest operating cost
For the microgrid, the operating cost C1 of the system can be described as follows:
min C1 CFuel COM CDC MCGRID 1 MCLS (9)
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where CFuel is the fuel consumption cost of the DGs in ; COM is the operating and management cost
of the DGs in ; CGrid is the cost of interaction between microgrid and power grid; CLS is the
compensation expense of interruptible load in ; M indicates whether the microgrid connects with the
grid or not. When the microgrid is connected with the power grid, M = 1; when the microgrid is in island
mode, M = 0.
The depreciation cost CDC can be described as follows:

InCost * d 1 d 1 d 1
l l

CDC P (10)
i
Pmax 8760 cf

where Pi is the output power of the DG named i in Kw; cf is the capacity factor; InCost is the installation
cost per capacity of the DGs in /kW; d is the interest rate, set to 8%; l is the lifetime of DGs in year;
Pmax is the maximum power of the DGs in kW.
(2) Objective function 2: the lowest pollutant treatment cost C2
K
min C2 (Ck ik ) Pi (Ck Gridk ) PGrid (11)
i 1 k k

where K is the total number of DGs; k is the type of pollutants emissions (SO2, NOx); Ck is the
treatment cost of k type pollutants in /kg; ik is the coefficient of pollutant emissions of the DG named
i in kg/kW; Gridk is the coefficient of pollutant emissions of grid in kg/kW; PGrid is the output power of
grid in kW. If PGrid is positive, this indicates that the grid transmits power to the microgrid, if PGrid is
negative, the grid absorbs power from the microgrid.
(3) Objective function 3: the least carbon dioxide emissions, expressed as the lowest carbon dioxide
treatment cost C3
K
min C3 CCO iCO Pi CCO GridCO PGrid
2 2 2 2 (12)
i 1

where CCO2 is the treatment cost of CO2 per kilogram in /kg; iCO2 is the coefficient of CO2 emissions
of the DG named i in kg/kW; GridCO2 is the coefficient of CO2 emissions of the grid in kg/kW.

3.2. Multi-Objective Function Handling Based on the Judgment Matrix Method

The judgment matrix method [19] is a method which can calculate the weight of objectives by a
combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis, and can also reflect the objective situation and the
decision makers' emphasis on each objective. In this paper, the judgment matrix method is used to
determine the weight coefficients of each objective function and integrate them into a comprehensive
objective function, that is:
C 1C1 2 C2 3C3 (13)

where 1 , 2 , 3 are the weight coefficients of the three objective functions, respectively.
The key point of the judgment matrix method is to determine a judgment matrix based on the intensity
of importance among the various objectives. According to the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) [20],
the criteria are shown in Table 1:
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Table 1. The criteria of the judgment matrix.


Judgment value Explanation
1 Two factors are equally important.
3 One factor is moderately more important than the other factor.
5 One factor is strongly more important than the other factor.
If factor x has one of the above values assigned to it when compared with factor y,
Reciprocals
then y has the reciprocal value when compared with x.

In this paper, we grade each objective function into three levels: operating cost reflects the economic
situation of the microgrid system, as the first level objective; pollutant treatment cost reflects the
pollution from the system, as the second level objective; carbon dioxide treatment cost reflects the carbon
dioxide emissions of the system, as the third level objective. Based on the above analysis and Table 1,
we take judgment values to form the judgment matrix as follows:
1 3 5
J 1/ 3 1 3

(14)
1/ 5 1/ 3 1

After matrix processing, the obtained weight coefficients are 1=0.6370, 2=0.2583, 3=0.1047.

3.3. Constraints

(1) Power balance of the microgrid system


N

P P
i 1
i Grid +PBS PLoad PEVload (15)

where PLoad is the system load; PEVload is the charging/discharging power of EVs; when PEVload is positive,
it indicates that EVs are charged, if PEVload is negative, EVs are discharged; PBS is the output of the BS,
when PBS is positive, the BS is discharged, if PBS is negative, the BS is charged.
(2) Power limits of DGs
Pi min Pi Pi max (16)

where Pimin and Pimax are the minimum and maximum limit of DGs i.
(3) Ramp rate limits of DE
PG (t) PG (t 1) rmax t (17)

where PG(t) and PG(t1) are the output of DE in periods t and t1; rmax is the maximum ramp rate of DE,
t is the time interval.
(4) Constraints of EV batteries
SOCEV min SOCEV t SOCEV max (18)

where SOCEVmin and SOCEVmax are the minimum and maximum SOC of the EVs battery.
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(5) Constraints of line transmission capacity between the microgrid and power grid
PL max PGrid PL max (19)

where PLmax is the maximum line transmission capacity between the microgrid and power grid.
(6) Operating constraints of the storage battery
Battery charge and discharge frequency and depth of discharge will affect their life, so to constrain its
operating status, including SOC, and charge/discharge power constraints:
SOCmin SOC t SOCmax (20)
PBS max PBS (t ) PBS max (21)
N 1 N 1
PBS (t )
SOCend SOC start PBS (t )C t SOC start , SOCend SOCstart t SOCstart (22)
t 0 t 0 D

where SOCmin and SOCmax are the minimum and maximum SOC of BS; PBSmax is the maximum
charging/discharging power of BS; PBS(t) is the charging/discharging power of BS, C is the charging
efficiency and D is the discharging efficiency; SOCstart and SOCend is the SOC at the beginning and end
of a cycle. Considering that the dynamic economic dispatch scheme for the microgrid is executed in
cycles, it may be assumed that the SOC of the battery is equal between the beginning and the end of a
cycle, as shown in Equation (22).

4. Dispatch Control Strategies

Considering that wind and solar power are renewable and clean energy, we use the mode to maximize
their utilization. For two different operating modes of the microgrid, this paper has also taken different
scheduling control strategies:
(1) Running under the Grid-Connected Mode
According to the different charging modes for EVs, the scheduling strategy for economic microgrid
operation can be divided into the following two approaches.
Scheduling Strategy 1:
EVs are charging under autonomous mode. The system load (conventional load plus electric vehicle
charging load) is powered by DGs and the power grid. Energy can be bidirectional transmission between
the microgrid and power grid.
Scheduling Strategy 2:
EVs are charging and discharging under coordinated mode. During the power grid electricity price
off-peak periods, EVs can be charged so that energy can be stored in EV batteries and be ready for
discharging at the price peaks. The system load (conventional load plus EV charging load) is powered
by renewable energy sources and the power grid. During electricity price peak hours, EVs start
discharging for peak load. The system load (conventional load minus EV discharging load) is powered
by DGs, the power grid and EVs. During parity hours, EVs are used for transport. The system load
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(conventional load) is powered by DGs and the power grid. Energy can be bidirectional transmission
between the microgrid and power grid.
(2) Running under the Island Mode
According to different charging modes for EVs, the scheduling strategy for economic microgrid
operation can be divided into the following two approaches.
Scheduling Strategy 3:
EVs are charging under autonomous mode. The system load (conventional load plus electric vehicle
charging load) is powered by DGs. Considering that charging and discharging too frequently will greatly
reduce BS life, the BS control strategy is that BS is put into use within a set period, that is, during the
off-peak load periods from 23:00 to 24:00, 0:00 to 6:00 and peak load periods from 17:00 to 23:00. If
the total DGs output is unable to meet the load demand, part of the interruptible load should be cut off.
Scheduling Strategy 4:
EVs are charging and discharging under coordinated mode. This will change the peak and off-peak
load periods. Early morning periods become peak load and the former peak load periods become
off-peak load. Therefore, BS is controlled to discharge between 0:00 and 6:00 and charge between 17:00
and 24:00. The system load (conventional load plus electric vehicle charging load) is powered by DGs
and EVs. If the total output of DGs and EVs is unable to meet the load demand, part of the interruptible
load should be cut off.

5. PSO Algorithm

5.1. Basic PSO

PSO is an intelligent optimization algorithm proposed by Kennedy and Eberhart in 1995. Basic PSO
is used to form a particle community through random initialization [21]. The position expression of each
particle is X i ( xi1 , xi 2 , , xid )T , and the velocity expression is Vi (vi1 , vi 2 , , vid )T , where i 1, 2, n , n is
the size of population. Through analysis and statistics of the optimal value of each particle and the
community, each particle constantly adjust its position and velocity according to the following equations,
until the termination condition is met:
xik, d1 xik, d vik, d
k (23)
vi , d vi , d c1 rand1 pbesti , d xi , d c2 rand 2 gbestd xi , d
k k k k k k k

where xik, d is the position of d dimension of i particle in k iteration; vik, d is the velocity of d dimension
of i particle in k iteration; is the inertia weight factor; c1 and c2 are acceleration coefficients; pbestik,d
is the personal best value of d dimension of i particle in k iteration; gbestdk is the global best value of d
dimension in k iteration; rand1k and rand 2k are random numbers distributing in the range [0,1].

5.2. Improved PSO

Based on the basic PSO, this paper has improved it in two respects:
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(1) Variable Inertia Weight Factor


In this paper, the inertia factor is variable [22]. Its value is set large at the initial iteration, and then
decreases in successive iterations. This allows the particle swarm to search for a larger solution space at
the beginning of optimization, and then later to gradually shrink to a better area for more precise searching
in order to accelerate the convergence rate and target accuracy. Its iterative formula is as follows:
max min
max iter (24)
itermax

where max is the maximum inertia weight factor; min is the minimum inertia weight factor; iter is the
current iteration; itermax is the maximum number of iterations.
(2) Variable Penalty Factor
The generally constrained optimization problem is solved by means of a penalty function.
The original objective function plus the penalty function makes a new objective function named fitness
function. This method is simple and effective, but its best solution depends on the penalty factor
selection [23]. If the penalty factor is set too small, it may have the result that the fitness function optimal
solution is not the original objective function optimal solution. If the penalty factor is set too large, it
may produce a personal best solution beyond the feasible domain. The penalty factor is generally
determined by experience. Dynamic dispatch is a continuous optimization problem. The situation is
different in different schedule periods, so it is difficult to select a specific penalty factor. Therefore, this
paper uses a variable penalty factor approach. In addition, the scheduling is minute-level, and has large
and complex calculation, so it is difficult to find a definite penalty factor expression. According to
experience, we select different penalty factors at different periods, so that the obtained best solution can
be closer to the best solution of the original objective function.

5.3. PSO Process

Step 1: Initialize the particle swarm (velocity and position), acceleration coefficients, maximum number
of iterations, according to Equation (24) to calculate the inertia factor value.
Step 2: Set the value of the penalty factor, then combine the objective function and the penalty
function as a fitness function.
Step 3: Evaluate the fitness value of each particle, as its current personal best solution (pbest),
and compare with other particles, as the global best solution (gbest).
Step 4: Calculate the value of the inertia factor according to Equation (24); update the particle velocity
and position according to Equation (23).
Step 5: Update the personal best solution and the global best solution.
Step 6: Repeat steps 4 to 5, until reaching the maximum number of iterations.
Step 7: Output the global best solution, the personal best solution of each particle and its
corresponding location.
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6. Numerical Examples

6.1. Example System

This paper establishes a microgrid system which contains WTs, PVs, DEs, FCs, BS and EVs. When
the microgrid is running under the grid-connected mode, since there is support from the power grid,
BS is not involved in scheduling. When the microgrid is running under the island mode, BS is involved
in scheduling. The initial SOC of BS under scheduling strategy 3 and 4 is set to 0.1 and 0.9 respectively.
There are 15 WTs, 30 PVs, and 80 EVs. The maximum power of WT and PV is 150 kW and 30 kW,
respectively. DEs and FCs are all two groups, and the capacity of each group is 30 kW. The ramp rate
limit of DE is 1 kW/min. BS capacity is 150 kWh, and the power limit is 30 kW. The minimum and
maximum SOC of BS is 10% and 100%, respectively. The maximum line transmission capacity between
the microgrid and the power grid is 300 kW. In this paper, the power purchasing price and selling price
were both the real-time electricity price. The compensation cost price of interrupted load (LS) is
1.458/kWh. EV parameters are shown in Table 2. The cost parameters of the DGs are shown in Table 3.
In this paper, DGs refer to WT, PV, DE and FC. The pollutant/CO2 emissions coefficients and treatment
cost are shown in Table 4. WT and PV power, the load demand profile and the real-time electricity price
within 1 day are shown in Figure 2. In this paperall time axis labels of the figures are in hours.

Table 2. Parameters of EV.


Parameter Value
W100 (kWh/100 km) 13.9
CEV (kWh) 21.6
SOCmax/SOCmin (%) 100/20
PC/PdisC (kW) 23
(%) 75

Table 3. Cost parameters of DGs.


DG Type KFuel (/kWh) KOM (/kWh) Incost (104/kW) l (year)
PV - 0.0096 6.65 20
WT - 0.0296 2.375 10
FC 0.206 0.0293 4.275 10
DE 0.396 0.088 1.6 10

Table 4. Parameters of carbon dioxide and pollutant emissions.


Emission type CO2 SO2 NOx
Treatment cost (/kg) 0.21 14.842 62.964
PV 0 0 0
WT 0 0 0
Emission Parameter
FC 489 0.003 0.01
(g/kWh)
DE 649 0.206 9.89
Power Grid 889 1.8 1.6
Energies 2015, 8 4487

(a) (b)

(c)

Figure 2. (a) Output per unit of WT and PV; (b) Load demand of microgrid system;
(c) Electricity price of power grid.

In this paper, a dispatch cycle is 1 day, divided into 1440 periods to achieve minute-level scheduling.
The relevant parameters of the PSO algorithm are as follows: the particle population size is 100,
the maximum number of iterations is 80 and the acceleration coefficients are all set as 2.

6.2. The Simulation Results of the Daily Load of EVs

Figure 3 shows the simulation results of the daily load of EVs under different modes.
Figure 3a shows that the more EVs there are, the higher the peak load. The EV charging load is mainly
concentrated around 18:00 which is rush hour, as owners generally begin to charge EVs after reaching
home. The simulation results are consistent with the behavior of EV owners. There is no doubt that if a
massive number of EVs are charging autonomously, this will increase the difference between the peak
and off-peak system load, and increase the burden on the grid.
Figure 3b shows that the EV charging load is mainly concentrated in nighttime off-peak load periods
from 0:00 to 7:00. This is conducive to microgrid stability, and is more economical for EV owners
because of the lower electricity price. From 7:00 to 17:00, EVs are primarily used for transport to meet
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the owners needs. EVs discharging power are mainly concentrated from 17:00 to 24:00, which is the
peak load period, when EVs can be used as power sources participating in economic dispatch.

(a) (b)

Figure 3. (a) The load profile of different numbers of EVs under autonomous charging mode;
(b) The load profile of different numbers of EVs under coordinated charging/discharging mode.

6.3. Comparative Analysis of PSO Algorithms

In this paper, scheduling strategy 1 is taken as the example to compare and analyze the PSO
algorithms. Strategy 1 is calculated by using basic PSO and improved PSO respectively. Figure 4 shows
the fitness function convergence value of minute 0. Table 5 shows comparison of some parameters of
the basic and improved PSO algorithms.
Figure 4 shows that the improved PSO algorithm converges faster. As reflected in Table 5, the total
running time is less. Through comparison of the fitness function convergence values in Table 5, it is
obvious that the improved PSO algorithm has a better searching performance.

Figure 4. Convergence of fitness function.


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Table 5. Comparison of computational results between basic and improved PSO.


PSO Total time/s Convergence value/
Basic PSO 2.987 713.45
Improved PSO 2.765 693.84

6.4. Scheduling Results Analysis When the Microgrid Is Running under the Grid-Connected Mode

6.4.1. Analysis of the Output of DGs

After economic dispatch of the microgrid system, the scheduling results of EVs, FCs, DEs and the
power grid are shown in Figure 5. Due to the strategy to maximize the utilization of renewable energy,
the figure does not show the wind and solar power profiles.

(a) (b)

Figure 5. (a) Dispatch results under scheduling strategy 1; (b) Dispatch results under
scheduling strategy 2.

When the microgrid system adopts scheduling strategy 1, it can be seen from Figure 5a that from 0:00
to 5:00, the power grid output is negative; that is, the microgrid feeds excess electricity to the power
grid. This is because the WT output is larger than the load demand of the microgrid. After 5:00,
the renewable energy output is unable to meet the load demand, so the power grid is used due its lower
comprehensive objective cost. After 6:00, FC is enabled and has priority to be scheduled from that time
according to the maximum output power due to its lower objective cost. After 10:00, the objective cost
of the power grid becomes higher than DE, so DE replaces the power grid to output power. From 11:00
to 16:00, the costs of DE and FC are lower than the power grid, therefore the excess electricity is fed to
the power grid to improve the economics after meeting the load demand. After 16:00, the cost of DE is
higher than the power grid, so it is gradually replaced by the power grid.
When the microgrid system adopts scheduling strategy 2, it can be seen from Figure 5b that the EV
charging load is concentrated from 0:00 to 7:00. During that period, the comprehensive objective costs
of the power grid and FC are lower than DE, so they output power together. After 6:00, FC has priority
to be scheduled due to its lower objective cost. From 7:00 to 17:00, EVs are not involved in scheduling.
In that period, before 10:00 the objective cost of the power grid is lower than DE, so it outputs power
together with FC. From 10:00 to 16:00, the objective cost of DE is lower than the power grid, so instead
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of the power grid, it supplies power together with FC. In the meantime, if the objective costs of DE and
FC are lower than the power grid, then the excess electricity is fed to the power grid to improve the
economics after meeting the load demand. After 16:00, the objective cost of DE is higher than the power
grid, so it stops being used. After 17:00, EVs begin to discharge, which means participating in scheduling,
so the power grid output is reduced. After 21:00, EVs begin to feed power to the power grid, which can
bring economic benefits to EV owners.

6.4.2. Analysis of the Objective Function Cost

The three objective functions cost and the comprehensive objective function cost of scheduling under
scheduling strategy 1 and 2 are shown in Table 6. Due to the randomness of the particle swarm
optimization algorithm, the following table shows the average cost after repeatedly calculating 20 times.

Table 6. Grid-connected mode: cost of dispatch results under different strategies.


Strategy 2 Strategy 1
Cost/ Scheduling strategy 1 Scheduling strategy 2
Strategy 1
C1 973.55 684.66 29.67%
C2 223.33 386.68 73.14%
C3 152.85 332.53 117.55%
C 693.84 570.82 17.73%

From the data in the Table 6, it can be seen that adopting scheduling strategy 2 reduces by 17.73%
the comprehensive objective cost compared with adopting scheduling strategy 1, which reduces by
29.67% the operating cost, increases by 73.14% pollutant emissions, and increases by 117.55% the
carbon dioxide emissions. This result indicates that when the microgrid is running under the
grid-connected mode, the EV coordinated charging and discharging mode can lower the operating cost,
but carbon emissions and pollutant emissions are higher. This is because when the scheduling objective
function is comprehensive, the weight coefficient of the operating cost is 0.6370, and the first,
second and third level objectives cannot achieve their best in the meantime.
Contrasting Figure 5a,b, the EVs are charging in the off-peak load periods at night to avoid the peak
load, and discharging at peak load periods in order to achieve peak load shifting and reduce the cost of
purchasing electricity from the power grid. Thus, adopting the EV coordinated charging and discharging
mode is not only conducive to the stability of the microgrid system operation, but also reduces the
operating cost.

6.5. Scheduling Results Analysis When the Microgrid Is Running under the Island Mode

6.5.1. Analysis of the Output of DGs

After economic dispatch of the microgrid system, the scheduling results of EVs, FCs, DEs and LS
are shown in Figure 6.
Energies 2015, 8 4491

(a) (b)

Figure 6. (a) Dispatch results under scheduling strategy 3; (b) Dispatch results under
scheduling strategy 4.

When the microgrid system adopts scheduling strategy 3, it can be seen from Figure 6a that from 0:00
to 6:00, the total load of the microgrid is small, so the BS is charging during this period. After that time,
DE and FC output power together. Around 11:00 to 12:00, DE and FC cannot meet the load demand
even to output in the upper limit, and BS has not been put into use yet, and there appears a power shortfall,
so it is necessary to cut off part of the interruptible load. From 16:00 to 22:00, there are more power
shortfalls due to EV charging, and in the meantime, BS discharges to reduce both the peak load and the
power shortfall. After that time, the microgrid load demand is decreased and renewable energy
generations, DE, and FC output power are used together to meet the load demand and charge the BS.
When the microgrid system adopts scheduling strategy 4, it can be seen from Figure 6b that the load
of EV charging is concentrated from 0:00 to 7:00, resulting in a significant increase in the load demand.
DE and FC output cannot meet the demand, so the BS is controlled to discharge. From 7:00 to 17:00,
EVs are not involved in scheduling, and the system load is powered by DE and FC. From 16:00 to 17:00,
DE and FC output cannot meet the load demand, and there appears a power shortfall, so part of the
interruptible load is cut off. After 17:00, EVs begin discharging to participate in scheduling and charge
the BS. After 20:00, because the comprehensive objective costs of DE and FC are higher than V2G, then
their output is gradually reduced until they stop being used. In Figure 6a,b, the area surrounded by the
BS power profile under the zero axis and above is substantially equal, implying that the SOC at the
beginning and end of a dispatch cycle remains the same.

6.5.2. Analysis of the Objective Function Cost

The three objective functions cost and comprehensive objective function cost of scheduling results
under scheduling strategy 3 and 4 are shown in Table 7. Due to the randomness of the particle swarm
optimization algorithm, the following table shows the average cost after repeatedly calculating 20 times.
Energies 2015, 8 4492

Table 7. Island mode: cost of dispatch results under different strategies.


Strategy 4 Strategy 3
Cost/ Scheduling strategy 3 Scheduling strategy 4
Strategy 3
C1 1607.70 946.84 41.11%
C2 569.02 560.10 1.57%
C3 235.27 256.79 9.15%
C 1195.72 786.16 34.25%

From the data in the Table 7 it can be seen that adopting scheduling strategy 4 reduces by 34.25% the
comprehensive objective cost compared with adopting scheduling strategy 3, which reduces by 41.11%
the operating cost, reduces by 1.57% pollutant emissions, and increases by 9.15% the carbon dioxide
emissions. This indicates that when the microgrid is running under the island mode, the EV coordinated
charging and discharging mode can lower the operating cost and pollutant emissions, but the carbon
dioxide emissions are higher. Contrasting Figure 6a,b, during the peak load periods, EVs charging
increases the load peaks when adopting the EV autonomous charging mode, resulting in a significant
compensation cost for LS. Meanwhile, the EVs discharging avoids a lot of LS when adopting the EV
coordinated charging and discharging mode, thereby reducing the operating cost, but the charging is
concentrated at night, increasing the DE and FC use time, so carbon dioxide emissions are higher.
In summary, the adoption of the EV coordinated charging and discharging mode can reduce the power
shortfall when the microgrid system is running under the island mode, and helps to improve the
operation economics.

6.6. The Influence of Load Uncertainty

Research shows that the load fluctuation of the power system is generally described by a normal
distribution [24]. The probability density function is as follows:
( PL PLf )2

1 2 L2
f ( PL ) e (25)
2 * L

where L is the standard deviation of load forecasting; PL value of load forecasting; PLf is value of
actual load.
In the microgrid system economic dispatch process, in order to ensure the reliability of system
operation, the uncertainty of load fluctuation can be stabilized by spinning reserve. In this paper,
we study the impacts of load uncertainty on economic dispatch when the microgrid is running under the
grid-connected mode, and the spinning reserve is powered by the power grid. The operating cost is the
first level objective among the three objectives, reflecting the economic situation of the microgrid system,
so we choose objective function 1 as the scheduling objective for economic dispatch in this section.
Table 8 shows the operating cost when the load fluctuation is 0%, 5%, 10%, 15% and 20%, respectively.
Due to the randomness of the normal distribution function, the following table shows the average cost
after repeatedly calculating 20 times.
Energies 2015, 8 4493

Table 8. Total cost of dispatch results under different load fluctuations.


Scheduling strategy 1 Scheduling strategy 2 Strategy 2 Strategy 1
L2 / PL
C1/ Increase C1/ Increase Strategy 1
0% 1035.42 0% 675.98 0% 34.71%
5% 1069.90 3.33% 709.46 4.95% 33.69%
10% 1101.51 6.39% 757.27 12.03% 31.25%
15% 1154.92 11.54% 796.70 17.86% 31.02%
20% 1207.57 16.63% 839.13 24.14% 30.51%

Table 8 shows that if the load fluctuation increases, the microgrid operating cost will increase too,
no matter whether scheduling strategy 1 or 2 is used. This is because the greater the load fluctuation,
the more spinning reserve capacity the microgrid needs. So the purchasing electricity cost from the
power grid is higher, and the operating cost is also higher.
In addition, under the same load fluctuation, the operating cost of the system when EVs are charging
and discharging under the coordinated mode is lower than the cost when they are charging under the
autonomous mode. In Table 8, when the load uncertainty parameter increases from 0% to 5%, 10%, 15%
and 20%, the operating cost is reduced by 34.71%, 33.69%, 31.25%, 31.02%, and 30.51%, respectively,
which indicates that the coordinated charging and discharging mode of EVs has better operation economics.

7. Conclusions

According to the spatial and temporal characteristics of EVs, this paper established an autonomous
charging model and coordinated charging and discharging model of EVs. Based on the current studies
on multi-objective economic dispatch of the microgrid system, we determined the lowest operating cost,
the lowest pollutant treatment cost and the least carbon dioxide emissions as objective functions.
We then developed four different scheduling strategies under the grid-connected mode and the island
mode of the microgrid operation. Next we established the model of multi-objective economic dispatch
of the microgrid system including V2G. The judgment matrix method is used to convert the
multi-objective functions to a single objective function. Considering the constraints of safety operation,
the validity of the model and the algorithm is verified through simulation of an example system by using
an improved particle swarm algorithm based on different scheduling strategies. The simulation results
show that the EV coordinated charging and discharging mode has better operation economics than the
autonomous charging mode. Meanwhile, the greater the load fluctuation is, the higher the operating cost
of the microgrid system is.

Acknowledgments

This work is supported by the National High Technology Research and Development Program of
China (2015AA050104), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51177036), the State Grid
Corporation of China (PDB51201404085).
Energies 2015, 8 4494

Author Contributions

All the authors contributed to this paper. Haitao Liu and Yu Ji formulated the dispatch model.
Huaidong Zhuang simulated the example system and edited the manuscript. Hongbin Wu established
the load models of EVs.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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